for 4 people
Some place the origins of this recipe in Foligno, which lies southeast of Perugia, although it is found throughout the region. In southern Umbria, particularly in the vicinity of Orvieto and Terni, green grapes are used. In Foligno, the sausages are paired in cooking with the "black" wine grape. Locals conjecture that the dish originated during the vendemmia, the "grape harvest," when the fruit was plentiful and quick and hearty dishes had to be prepared to fuel those laboring in the vineyards.
8 sweet Italian pork sausages
1/2 cup water
3/4 pound seedless black or red grapes,
stripped from their stems
Use a sharp knife or fork to poke a few holes in the sausages before cooking them. Select a seasoned cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan. Put the sausages and the water in the skillet and place on the stove top over medium heat. When the water has evaporated and the sausages have begun to color lightly, after about 12 minutes, add the grapes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the sausages, pricking them occasionally to release excess fat, until they are browned all over and cooked through, and the grapes begin to release some of their juice and soften, about 20 minutes longer. (Do not prick them too much, or they will dry out.)
Transfer the sausages and grapes to a large warmed platter, leaving behind any fat, and serve immediately.
Regional Recipes ftom The Heartland of Italy
by Julia della Croce
Photographs by John A. Rizzo
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created September 2003
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